Rain and wind did not dampen the spirits of guests celebrating the opening of Kings Park’s first purpose-built volunteer facility in Kings Park on Friday 30 August.

thumb wanju marr opening j thomasMore than 100 volunteers, dignitaries, staff and supporters of Kings Park braved a wintry morning to see the Wanju Marr volunteer hub opened by Member for Perth Patrick Gorman and representatives from Lotterywest and Kings Park’s four volunteer organisations.

Dr Richard Walley OAM led a moving smoking ceremony to cleanse the new building with volunteers and staff.

The facility’s name, Wanju Marr, means ‘welcome hand’ in recognition of the vital role that more than 500 regular volunteers contribute to Kings Park.

Wanju Marr provides workshops, offices, meeting areas, kitchen space, barbecues and outdoor seating for volunteers.

Construction of the new facility has been funded by a $2.4 million grant provided by Lotterywest to the Friends of Kings Park.

Wanju Marr represents an important step towards an exciting future for volunteering services in Kings Park. This facility will enable the Friends of Kings Park to eventually expand the number of volunteers it can accommodate and the range of meaningful roles they can sign up for.

Some volunteers will use it for their everyday tasks. Others will use it for meetings, training, special events and social activities. It is also closely connected to the Botanic Garden depot, providing a close working environment with Kings Park staff.

But importantly, Wanju Marr isn’t just about Kings Park getting more out of volunteers – it is just as significant that the Park is giving back to its extraordinary teams of volunteers.

Mr Patrick Gorman MP, who spoke at the event, said the whole community benefited from the contributions of volunteers to Kings Park.

By investing in our volunteers, we are investing in the future of Kings Park and the Western Australian community, he said

Kings Park benefits from the support of four volunteer organisations, the Friends of Kings Park, Kings Park Volunteer Guides, Kings Park Volunteer Master Gardeners and the Honour Avenues Group.

Despite the wet start at the opening of Wanju Marr, the future of volunteering in Kings Park looks very bright.

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